Bringing Back Tradition

Dearborn Public Schools hosts annual ‘Superintendent Honors Night’ in-person after two years online


DHS senior Katie Belaire gives a speech on May 11, 2022, honoring social studies teacher Doug Radcliffe. “It’s not very often that we as students take the time to let our teachers know when we appreciate them, and having the opportunity to do so on such a large scale was amazing,” Belaire said. Belaire will be attending Miami University next fall and she credits Radcliffe as being a huge help in going through the college decision process.

On May 11, 2022, Dearborn Public Schools held their annual Superintendent Honors Night at the Ford Performing Arts Center. For 37 straight years, students have been able to choose some of DPS’s most hard-working teachers to be honored on a bright stage for the Dearborn community to see.

What made the event so special for everyone attending was the fact that the ceremony was held in person for the first time in two years. Due to the COVID-19 breakout, the 2020 and 2021 Superintendent Honors Nights were held online over Zoom.

In attendance at the event were DPS students and parents, DPS teachers, Board of Education members, Superintendent Dr. Glenn Maleyko, and other administrators. The event centered around students with a GPA above 4.0, allowing those qualified students to invite a teacher that has significantly impacted their education in a positive way. Students were able to select the teacher of their choice from elementary, middle, or high school, and give a ten second statement about how their selected teacher made an impact on them.

Psychology and sociology teacher Mollie Crowl was invited to the event in her first year teaching at DHS.

“To be given such an honor my first year at DHS was such an honor. I feel so blessed and thankful to work with the students that I do,” Crowl said. “To think that one of my students chose to award me of all people – it was hard to even comprehend. I felt so lucky.”

Crowl said it felt validating to be invited and sees the nomination as a positive sign with her current teaching.

“As a teacher, I work hard every day to make sure I am doing right by my students, doing the best I can, and pushing them to do the best they can,” Crowl said. “The “dream” is to make a difference along the way. To know that I was able to do that at such a level makes me feel like I am doing something right and that I am where I am supposed to be.”

English Language Arts teacher Mary Kubicek was able to attend the Superintendent Honors Night and said that changing students’ lives is her main goal when teaching.

“Almost every teacher will tell you that, though we deserve fair pay just like any other occupation, we chose this particular occupation because we want to help students,” Kubicek said. “Whether we hear that from a student at an awards night or in the classroom, it’s what gives us the greatest job satisfaction.”

Social studies and economics teacher Doug Radcliffe claims that the feeling of being acknowledged is much more important and warming than the event on its own.

“Having the opportunity to have our students recognize us is amazing,” Radcliffe said. “For me, it’s much more about the fact that one of the students thought enough of me to decide to honor me than it is about the event itself. It is far more about knowing that I have impacted a student’s life than it is about public recognition.”

Spanish teacher and JV girls soccer coach Matthew Barera said he cherishes the fact that the program honors multiple teachers over the years.

“I think it’s just nice in general to honor teachers, especially in an event like this, because as a teacher I know the demands of the job,” Barera said. “Knowing you’ve had an impact on a student’s life is the highest praise you can get. Your job as a teacher/coach is essentially that, to make an impact on a student in what seems like a short amount of time.”

For many, this event being in-person may seem like just another sign of the world returning slowly from the COVID-19 pandemic. But for the teachers being honored, it means the world and more.